New York Traffic Ticket Information

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Traffic tickets are issued in New York for various violations under the Vehicle and Traffic Law. On each New York traffic ticket you can find the statute of the violation, under the section named “Section Sub Section”. Generally, the ticket will say how to respond to it by pleading “guilty” or “not guilty”. (NYC, Buffalo, and Rochester Traffic Violations Bureau tickets also list the amount to pay if you decide to plead guilty). You must respond to a traffic violation ticket by pleading “not guilty”, paying a fine, appearing in court, or hiring a lawyer to represent you.  If you choose to ignore the traffic offense, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and your driving license may be suspended.


Most traffic violations in New York State that are issued are called “strict-liability” offenses.  What this means is that in order to found guilty of a “strict liability” offense the only thing prosecutor needs to do is prove that a person violated the offense. Regardless of any other factors if you violated the offense you will still be found guilty. Excuses are not acceptable defenses in “strict-liability” offenses.  The most common “strict-liability” offense in New York is speeding, Vehicle and Traffic Law §1180. Contrary to popular belief, excuses such as such as “it was an emergency” or “my speedometer broke” or “I really needed to go to the bathroom” are not defenses. The only defenses to strict liability offenses that might be effective are those involving mistaken identity (you claim it was someone else that committed the offense and not you) or that the prosecutor or police officer didn’t follow the appropriate procedures or did not prove their case.


Violations are also organized by whether or not the car was in motion during the incident.  Some common examples of New York moving violations include:

What to do when you receive a NY traffic ticket

Many violations do not require a court appearance, and you may admit guilt by pleading guilty to the ticket. The traffic ticket will indicate how and where to pay the fine.  If you received a traffic ticket in the Traffic Violations Bureau (the boroughs of NYC, Rochester, Buffalo) you may be able to pay the ticket online via the DMV website. If  are going to pay by mail, check the “guilty” box on the back of your ticket and send your money order/check to the address mentioned on your ticket (Note: the DMV will not except payments in cash).

If you wish to dispute the traffic violation, you must check the “not guilty” box at the back of your ticket, and send the ticket to the address given on the ticket. You must appear in court personally on the scheduled date, when entering into a “not guilty” plea. A trial gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury. Most people who cannot take off from work to go to court or don’t  want a ticket on their driving record, prefer to hire a New York traffic ticket lawyer to defend them.

When you pay a ticket, you are pleading guilty to a traffic offense, which will mean you will receive the same consequences as being found guilty in court. If you choose to plead guilty you should be aware of the following possible consequences:

  • Many traffic offenses, including speeding and other moving violations, are automatically reported to other states and some Canadian provinces. This means you may receive points on your driving record regardless of whether or not you are a New York resident.
  • Drivers that accumulate points on their driving record are often subject to higher car insurance premiums.
  • Many New York traffic violations  can carry fines of $600 or more.


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This post was written by Adam Rosenblum

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  • Mary
    October 24, 2016

    I was pulled over for speeding last night. Didn’t know it was 55mph. He said I was going 74mph. Is it better to pay the charges or plead not guilty?

    • RLF Attorneys
      October 28, 2016

      Mary – in order to provide further assistance, we need to know what court is handling your case. There are two separate court systems in NY, each with their own unique policies and procedures for dealing with traffic tickets. Generally speaking, it is better to fight a speeding ticket, as it provide an opportunity to either mitigate or avoid he points, fines, and insurance implications.

  • John Stanton
    June 6, 2016


    I am an Ontario driver, was driving 82 in a 55 zone, town of half moon Saratoga, got a ticket vio of section 1180b. What would the fine be? Would this come off my record as it does in Ontario after 3 years. Thanks in advance for the info.
    John Stanton

    • Adam Rosenblum
      June 23, 2016

      John, This is a 6 point ticket in the state of New York, which transfers 4 demerit points over to your Ontario record. There is a $393 court fee and a $300 NY state surcharge fee imposed if you plead guilty. I recommend you fight this ticket to minimize the points, fines and effect to your insurance rates.

  • Nikisha
    April 8, 2016

    I got a speeding ticket and I appealed it to have it reduced. They reduced it to 2 points off instead of 4. What is the typical fine that’s added to the 2 points should I accept this penalty?

  • Bhavna
    June 7, 2015

    I am a Canadian resident and I was driving in Newyork state. I was going at 118km per hour and I got speeding ticket on highway near Hasting and police gave me ticket showing 81 miles that is 130km per hour. I am driving since 1976 and didn’t get a single speeding ticket.i have a Ontario driver license. How do I get rid of the ticket? I told the cop that I wasn ‘t driving at 81 miles per hour. What should I do?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      June 12, 2015

      You should plead not guilty in order to avoid the fines, points, and insurance increases.

      • trish
        March 9, 2016

        i got a parking ticket in buffalo NY. I have an ontario license plate. What are the consequences if i don’t pay that?

        • Adam Rosenblum
          March 22, 2016

          Hello Trish, not paying parking tickets could lead to having your license suspended in NY. Driving with a suspended license is a misdemeanor offense that carries substantial penalties and a criminal record.